In the run up to Christmas, 2010, our last issue before the Christmas Special!
And it’s an issue with a difference!
Like our colleagues in Sweden, we were forced to make a second choice when the hoped-for second part of The Cabin Boy and the Princess fell behind schedule.
(No fault of the creators, by the way….like part one, the crucial second part is another longer-than usual adventure which demands incredibly intricate artwork and the workload simply became too much!)
Frew opted for two previously unpublished stories, both short (two short Phantom adventures in a standard issue is unusual!) because both, despite some dramatic moments, finish on a warm note and thus set the scene for what I hope will be a joyous Christmas period for everybody.
In many ways, 2010 has been a terrible year for so many people all over the world and we felt that it was time to generate a little extra glow.
High time, we all felt, to relax a little on the usual Phantom high drama, put up the feet and enjoy some good, old-fashioned story-telling.
The first story, Devil in New York, was originally published in Scandinavia in 1993.
It was written by Sverre Arnes and illustrated by Cesar Spadari, who has a very special talent for capturing Devil’s many moods.
Arnes also has a special talent for developing a basic plot idea in such a manner to keep you glued to the pages and hoping the adventure never ends!
What comes through most strongly is Devil’s training and discipline and his allegiance to The Phantom.
He knows that his master will eventually come to his aid and that while he waits he must make the best out of a bad deal of the cards!
The second story, by the late Norman Worker and with Spadari again illustrating, also appeared first in Scandinavia in 1993.
However, both are new to the Australasian Frew edition.
This adventure is entitled The Savannah Giants – a title which is linked not to humans, but giant African elephants and in particular, Joomba, long a part of the extended Phantom family.
Spadari’s art again is exquisite (hasn’t this artist a very special feel for illustrating animals?) and in only a half-length story, Norman Worker manages to get across some fascinating facts about elephants—and shoot a few barbs at drug pushers.
I do hope you will enjoy both stories!